State Rep. Steve Vaughan
A state representative who has authored pro-gun legislation is taking the blame for the accidental shooting of a hunter a month ago in northern Oklahoma.
“I just felt horrible about it. I just was sick,” said Rep. Steve Vaughan, who was shooting at a pheasant with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Another hunter, Drew Ihrig, was hit in the side of the head by a single shotgun pellet about the size of a BB.
“I was shot but it was a minor injury. I’m fine. It’s no big deal,” said Ihrig, an attorney with offices in Bartlesville and Blackwell. “This was a pure accident. It could have happened to anybody on any given day. I hold no ill will at all.”
The pheasant hunt was at the Bluestem Hunting Reserve north of Perry.
“We’ve been doing this for 15 years. We’ve had over 4,000 people come through. First time anybody has been injured,” the reserve owner said.
Vaughan, R-Ponca City, was elected in 2010. He is 55.
The conservative lawmaker authored legislation in 2011 patterned after Oklahoma’s Make My Day law. The legislation expanded the right to business owners, managers and employees to use deadly force when they have a reasonable fear they face death or great bodily harm.
He also was the House author in 2011 of legislation that created an official annual “Second Amendment Day” in Oklahoma. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of the people to keep and bear arms.
Even though the victim of the negligence said it was no big deal, it was. Anytime a gun owner violates the safety rules and someone is injured, that gun owner should be held accountable. It doesn't matter if the injury is single shotgun pellet in the face or the loss of life; the negligent behavior is the same and should be taken very seriously.
Of course, the irresponsible gun handling was not the only offense. So-called hunters who go to reserves to shoot animals are the lowest of the low. That's not hunting at all.